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Aussies wanting to sample casual American Food

My family and I would like to eat some casual American food (Ribs, Burgers etc) one night during our visit to DC later this month. We're already booked into Cafe Atlantico and Urbanna. Could you please help with suggestions in the Dupont or Georgetown areas - the link to the website for Tabard Inn seen in many posts doesn't seem to work - so I'm not sure if it is "casual" or not! Many thanks.....

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Cafe Atlantico
405 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

Tabard Inn
1739 N St NW, Washington, DC 20036

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  1. I would rethink Urbanna if I were you. Food was fine when last I went, but the music was uncomfortably loud and the service . . . terrible. That was a Saturday night, though, so perhaps it's quieter during the week.

    1. casual american food- Matchbox, Old Ebbitts Grill, Clydes

      1. Burgers at BGR joint (there is one in Dupont Circle) - Ray's Hell Burger is a bit better but in Arlington, VA
        Crab Cakes or breakfast at the Market Lunch at Eastern Market

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        Ray's Hell Burger
        1713 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22209

        Market Lunch
        225 7th St SE Ste 12, Washington, DC 20003

        1. There is a good burger joint in Dupont Circle called BGR. Burgers, fries and milkshakes.

          Instead of Urbana you might want to head elsewhere. I would suggest Hank's Oyster Bar (in Dupont....not too far from Urbana). You can try out some traditional American New England seafood like lobster rolls, oysters, oyster po'boys and popcorn shrimp.

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          Hank's Oyster Bar
          1026 King St Ste 1, Alexandria, VA 22314

          1. I don't understand your choices so far, but there you go. Tons of places you could go to for MOR American food, and I am not sure one is better than the other.

            The Chowhound tip for burgers and ribs would be to get out of your comfort zone. For great food, I would go to Rays the Steaks East River for the impressive fried chicken and ribs. Still in DC, but it is a schlep.

            If you really can't go that far, then I'd go to Kramerbooks and Afterwards which at least has a nice bookstore and some tempting big desserts (to share). According to food critic Todd Kliman, they now carry on their wine list a rarely-seen Norton, which is a uniquely American red wine.

            http://www.kramers.com/view23.html

            1. You could take a short taxi ride up from Georgetown to Rocklands Barbeque on Wisconsin Avenue. Very casual (no table service) and very good.
              Or you could also take a short taxi ride from Georgetown to Ray's Hell Burger in Rosslyn. Both of these places are worth the trip.

              If you really want to stay in Georgetown, you could go to Old Glory for *okay* barbeque.

              Has anyone tried the new burger place that opened somewhat recently in Georgetown, Thunder Burger? I haven't heard a peep about it.

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              Ray's Hell Burger
              1713 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22209

              Old Glory
              3139 M St. N.W., Washington, DC 20007

              1. I might go to Tacklebox in Georgetown for casual (they serve seafood grilled and fried, and their burger I hear is pretty decent). Tabard Inn I hear is tasty, and is as casual as you make it, it seems. I like Kramerbooks, so I second that suggestion.

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                Tabard Inn
                1739 N St NW, Washington, DC 20036

                1. It's not a super-casual restaurant, but the food would be up your alley: Art and Soul.

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                  Art and Soul
                  415 New Jersey Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20001

                  1. There's a Clyde's in Georgetown. Their food is much better than Old Ebbitt.

                    Tabard Inn is great for brunch. If you can't make a reservation, then you can try to snag seats at the bar. Full menu and good drinks. It's a fairly casual place, and shouldn't be a problem during the cold months (dress-wise). You can just Google Tabard Inn and you should be able to get their website and menu up. Their donuts are great.

                    If you want cheap fast food burgers, there's a Five Guys on Wisconsin. Just a few blocks walking distance from M Street.

                    Pizzeria Paradiso has pizza and Italian American if you're up for that.

                    Second Tacklebox if you're looking for seafood of any type. They have good cornbread and often have a dessert offering on display at the counter (a baked good of some kind like pie or rice krispie treats). Extremely casual.

                    In Rosslyn there's a Red Hot and Blue. Not the best BBQ ever, but decent. But if you're going to walk to Rosslyn from Georgetown (or just take the Metro), better to go to Ray's Hellburger than get BBQ at Red Hot & Blue...

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                    Tabard Inn
                    1739 N St NW, Washington, DC 20036

                    Pizzeria Paradiso
                    3282 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007

                    1. (1) Cancel Urbana, reserve a table at Blue Duck. This is not always my top pick for people, but they do American classics really, really well (you have to get the apple pie, I'm not kidding) and it's the same price point.

                      (2) Maybe Rocklands BBQ is great, I haven't tried it, but we don't do BBQ very well in DC. Just an FYI. Things that are quintessentially American that you can get here are crab cakes, oysters, and things like chicken and waffles. And, of course, burgers. People have pretty much covered those already.

                      (3) People will tear me a new one for saying this, but DC is known for half smokes. Try Ben's Chili Bowl, only if you want a more lesiurely experience, go to Ben's Next Door. If you want the real grill counter experience, go to the original restaurant. Just don't do this *instead* of going to Art and Soul or Ray's Hell Burger/BGR.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Raids

                        I'll beat Steve to this one. Since the OP is Aussie, then get a picture at Ben's then walk East a couple of blocks to Oohs and Aahs for some good soul food.

                        I don't think the chicken and waffles aspect has been covered - or did I miss it? Oohs and Aahs used to have it on a late night menu but I think that went away. Where else besides the Soul Singer's place in MD (of which and who I can never remember the names).

                        1. re: Dennis S

                          Oh, I thought they did, my bad. How about Marvin then?

                      2. I would avoid the half smoke. It just well isn't what I would want one of my main meals here to be. You could grab one on the go, but I would liken it to a meat pie.

                        I agree to lose Urbana. If you end up going to Blue Duck Tavern get a side of grits, they have great grits and that is very American.

                        I also second getting a burger if you haven't had a real good American burger. I think you could get this at BGR or Ray's Hellburger. They are very casual, order at the counter and find a table type of place. If you a bit more upscale than that Central makes on heck of a burger (and other american favorites) and you could sit at the bar if you didn't want to get a table.

                        For the other meal I think the idea of Oohs and Aahs or Creme Cafe would be good for some Southern soul food. Honestly we don't have great BBQ here. Rocklands would be your best bet if you really want it.

                        And I also second Tacklebox, for again really casual order at the counter type place, or Hank's Oyster Bar for sit down service, but still casual and New England seafood favorites.

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                        Hank's Oyster Bar
                        1026 King St Ste 1, Alexandria, VA 22314

                        Blue Duck Tavern
                        1201 24th Street NW, Washington, DC 20037

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: ktmoomau

                          Dear All

                          Thank you for all your responses so far.

                          I thought I should clarify my choices as I don't want to be seen rejecting sound advice! We only have 4 nights in DC and I chose Urbanna as we are staying at Hotel Palomar and will have just arrived after 23 hours on the move from Oz - it will be convenient.

                          I was in DC in May and ate at Cafe Atlantico (couldn't score a seat at minibar!) and thought I'd return with the family as it is quite different to the Italian, French and Pan-Asian/Mod-Oz fare we are used to at home.

                          We are going for Tapas/drinks/view at the rooftop in W hotel (my under 21 year old daughters aren't permitted after 5pm!) followed by pizza at Paradiso (probably).

                          I therefore thought an "American dining experience" should be pursued - so many thanks again.....

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                          Cafe Atlantico
                          405 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

                          1. re: tony_brisbane

                            There's no need to clarify or justify your decisions, really.. No one is going to get hurt if you end up eating what you want and don't go to the places listed in this thread. It's your vacation and you get to make the decisions (well, hoping you consult with the rest of your family on them! :o).

                            Hope you and the family have a great time!

                            1. re: tony_brisbane

                              Yes, of course, do what you will, but Blue Duck Tavern is .3 miles from your hotel.

                              Speaking of POV at the W, does anyone know how they deal with the weather? Do they glass in the patio or what? Also the food is far from bad, but it's not great and it's really, really overpriced, so don't feel like you really need to experience the menu. I have had some really great cocktails there, but it's pretty hit or miss. Having said all that, weather and however they accommodate the weather permitting, I wouldn't miss it. I take everyone who visits me there. Enjoy!

                              And just a thought on Paradiso - try to hit it before peak times, or be prepared to have a fairly long wait. Fortunately the beepers they give you have a decent range.

                              Have a great trip! If you stick with Urbana please come back and tell us your thoughts, as well as on any other places - I love reading those posts.

                              1. re: tony_brisbane

                                You know what just came to mind? Bourbon in Adams-Morgan. I was there last weekend and kind of remembered all over again how much I like it. And with a menu with curly fries, tater tots, sliders, wings, burgers, chile, crab cakes, reubens, BLTs, meatloaf, mac and cheese....you can pretty much get a good sample of the US: http://bourbondc.com/bourbon_am_menu.pdf

                            2. Clyde's in Georgetown (or Gallery Place/Chinatown). Front Page is fairly American food. It's in Dupont.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: spinachandchocolate

                                Yikes....don't go to Front Page. There are lots of other options that are much, much, much better.

                                1. re: Elyssa

                                  Agreed avoid Front Page and Clyde's. I would go to Rocklands its the closest place that will serve ribs and side dishes to satisfy your fix for casual American food.

                                  One of the best rib places in DC is Hogs on the Hill 2003 Bladensburg Rd NE DC

                              2. We've split off some discussion on where to eat in Australia to a new thread on that board. You can find that thread here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/753808